Archive for August, 2007

Larry Craig

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Last month, I dubbed Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) “some sort of evil mountain king.” In light of recent events, let me update that comment: Sen. Craig is an evil mountain king who likes to solicit sex in airport men’s rooms.

Or does he just have “a wide stance when going to the bathroom?” That does sound plausible.

I’ll get back to my “Know Your US Senators” project very soon, I promise. And in the event that Larry is forced into an early retirement, you can count on me to give you the full scoop on his replacement.

Know Your US Senators, part 5 of 10: Feinstein through Inouye

Monday, August 6th, 2007

Dianne Feinstein
Senior Senator from California
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1992
Age: 74
Pros: Maiden name — Goldman. Husbands (current, deceased) — Blum, Feinstein. High School Attended — Convent of the Sacred Heart. Wait, what?
Cons: Sizable conflict of interest scandal involving investment banker hubby Richard Blum and billion dollar appropriations made to his firms; but hey, that’s the Senate for you.

Lindsey Graham
Senior Senator from South Carolina
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 2003
Age: 52
Pros: Was actually less than half the age (!) of his predecessor, Strom Thurmond, when he took his Senate seat; benefits of this include Graham’s not having to be medically revived and carefully removed from his preservation chamber to be wheeled out for floor votes.
Cons: Asked Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, “Are you really a closet bigot?” during confirmation hearings; Alito’s wife left crying; seemingly staged moment helped win sympathy for government-developed Antonin Scalia clone.

Chuck Grassley
Senior Senator from Iowa
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1981
Age: 73
Pros: Pleasantly adverb-like name; noted advocate for whistleblowers.
Cons: He’s certainly an intelligent and solid conservative politician, but he’s also a member of a Christian group called “The Family,” and I find that oddly unsettling.

Judd Gregg
Senior Senator from New Hampshire
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1993
Age: 60
Pros: Won $850,000 by getting five of six numbers on a Powerball ticket in 2005, which is great because the guy was probably really scraping to get by before that.
Cons: Defeated a 94-year-old female Democratic candidate in 2004; obviously, the gentlemanly thing to do would have been to let her win.

Chuck Hagel
Senior Senator from Nebraska
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1997
Age: 60
Pros: Vietnam War hero, which means he can never be president; independent-thinking, maverick Republican who probably has a recording contract with Maverick Records and uses Maverik lacrosse equipment and co-starred in the 1994 film Maverick with Mel Gibson.
Cons: Could be preparing for a 2008 presidential run on an independent ticket with Michael Bloomberg, which presumably would be just as much of a disaster as it looks like on paper.

Tom Harkin
Junior Senator from Iowa
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1985
Age: 67
Pros: Long-serving liberal leader in the Senate, with a distinguished military background…

Orrin Hatch
Senior Senator from Utah
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1993
Age: 64
Pros: There are some pretty great names in the Senate, but “Orrin Hatch” has to be my favorite — it’s downright Dickensian.
Cons: Declared that copyright holders should be legally allowed to destroy suspected infringers’ (i.e. file-sharers’) computer equipment, thus causing the growing epidemic of RIAA representatives traveling from house to house with government-licensed sledgehammers.

Kay Bailey Hutchison
Senior Senator from Texas
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1993
Age: 64
Pros: In 2000 she defeated a Democrat named Gene Kelly. Send me your political “Singin’ in the Rain” puns and you might get a shout-out on this blog! ;-)
Cons: Was a cheerleader at the University of Texas, and I can kind of see where she might have been a pretty attractive one at that time, and that really frightens me to think about and I hate myself now.

Jim Inhofe
Senior Senator from Oklahoma
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1994
Age: 72
Pros: Fortunately, most of us have learned to ignore people from Oklahoma.
Cons: “…As you see here, and I think this is maybe the most important prop we’ll have during the entire debate, my wife and I have been married 47 years. We have 20 kids and grandkids. I’m really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we’ve never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship.”

Daniel Inouye
Senior Senator from Hawaii
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1963
Age: 82
Pros: Distinguished WWII veteran, providing medical assistance at the bombing of Pearl Harbor and remaining in the military despite having lost his right arm in battle.
Cons: So badass that now you legally must be named Daniel in order to serve as a Senator from Hawaii.

Next time: Know Your US Senators, part 6 (halfway there!): Isakson through Leahy